• For Immediate Release:

    An Evening with Michael Kearns and Special Guest JoNell Kennedy
    Reading & Book Signing for
 Who’s Afraid of Michael Kearns?
    In Person, Outdoors, on Wednesday, September 22, 2021

    LOS ANGELES, CA – September 9, 2021 – Echo Park’s stalwart indie bookstore, Stories Books & Cafe, is pleased to present a special evening with esteemed Los Angeles playwright Michael Kearns on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, from 7:00 to 9:00pm. To commemorate the publication of his eighth theatre book, Who’s Afraid of Michael Kearns?, the author will be joined by special guest JoNell Kennedy who will reprise her role from Bang Bang—one of the plays from this anthology—with a gripping monologue. Stories is located at 1716 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026. Events are held in the venue’s outdoor performance space. Encompassing three of Kearns’ most celebrated plays, his latest literary work is available in paperback via Amazon for $20.00. To learn more about this internationally-acclaimed artist and his illustrious career, please visit http://michaelkearns.co.

    Kearns’ autobiography, The Truth Is Bad Enough: What Became of the Happy Hustler?, will also be available. Upon the book’s release, celebrated actor Sir Ian McKellen remarked that, “We are all lucky to still have Michael Kearns with us; now recording his private and public story with an honesty and humor that put most other show-biz autobiographies to shame.” Learn more about the autobiography by visiting: https://www.amazon.com/Truth-Bad-Enough-Became-Hustler/dp/1475067550.

    Published by F-Stop Books, the collected plays in Who’s Afraid Of Michael Kearns? reflect Kearns desire to “make sense of this world we live in…[by empathizing] with everyone: misfits, rebels, cons, whores, murderers, renegades, poets, priests, babies, the wounded, the wasted, the wanderers: those who manage to survive.” Included in this volume are “Who’s Afraid of Edward Albee?,” which archly explores the backstage drama of four male actors in Albee’s similarly named masterpiece; “Bang Bang,” a visceral plunge into the heartache of a school shooting alongside an enigmatic title character with his own legacy of violence, all delving into our society’s addiction to the spectacle of carnage, power, and sex; and “Bloodbound,” in which the physical love between two brothers underscores the depths of their emotional entanglements—the play is also an indictment of the injustices of mass incarceration, inside a love story, as it reflects the inevitability of revising our own narratives.


    Michael Kearns

    A veteran of Los Angeles theatre for 50 years, Michael Kearns’ work is known for its “…collisions of sex and death, of eroticism and grief” according to the LA Weekly. Evolving from a career as primarily a theatre actor, who appeared in television and film, Kearns established himself as an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed artist embracing the roles of actor, director, playwright, dramaturge, acting teacher, writing teacher, author, producer, and solo performer. Globally recognized as Hollywood’s first openly gay actor, Kearns became an artist-activist during the AIDS crisis, whose work largely gave voice to those impacted by HIV/AIDS.

    In addition to numerous acknowledgments for his theatre work, Kearns has received grants from the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, the California Arts Council, Poets & Writers, and the Brody Foundation. Kearns is currently an Artistic Associate at Skylight Theatre Company, Artist-in-Residence at Housing Works, Artistic Director of QueerWise, and West Coast Program Director for Spoken Interludes Next.

    JoNell Kennedy

    From theaters across the United States to broadcast television and the big screen, JoNell Kennedy’s work as an actress continues to add vitality and craft to some of the most legendary stage companies in the world: the Yale Rep, the Geffen Playhouse, Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens Theaters, and the Tony Award winning Goodman Theater, where she began her career and received a Joseph Jefferson Award for George C. Wolfe’s SPUNK. Ms. Kennedy has had featured roles in the films Dreamgirls, Me And You And Everyone We Know, and BOLDEN. She has also guest starred on prime time favorites The Mentalist, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Southland, Chicago Fire, You’re The Worst, and Showtime’s hit series Shameless. She is currently recurring on BET+ in the new hit comedy, The Ms. Pat Show.

    Stories Books & Cafe

    Echo Park’s trusted supplier of written works and organic/fair trade coffee and espresso, Stories Books & Cafe carries both new and used books, as well as rare books of fiction, history, LA Arcana, Art Photography, and more, all chosen for their unique worth.

    Events are held in the venue’s outdoor performance space in back of the store. Masks are required. Guests can enter through the store entrance on Sunset or access the space through the back alley. https://storiesla.com 

    Book Details

    Publisher: F-Stop Books (April 7, 2021)
    Language: English
    Paperback: 234 pages
    ISBN-10: 0999869582
    ISBN-13: 978-0999869581
    Item Weight: 14.7 ounces
    Dimensions: 6 x 0.59 x 9 inches
    Retail Price: $20


    Upcoming Michael Kearns Events:

    Sunday, October 17 • online

    QueerWise, the lauded LGBTQ spoken word performance collective, with the support of the City of West Hollywood, presents the World premiere docudrama The Ache For Home, screening online on Sunday, October 17, at 5:00pm. A diverse assortment of voices illuminating the homeless crisis in West Hollywood grew out of a five-week spoken word workshop with those who have experienced homelessness under the artistic direction of artist-activist Michael Kearns. Directed by Keida Mascaro, these citizens-turned-writers share inspirational stories from those glamorous streets and sidewalks, ranging from soaring self-acceptance to narratives of truth-telling defeats.

    The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.

    ~ Maya Angelou


    Sunday, November 14 • Palm Springs

    On November 14 at 5:00 PM, the Desert Rose Playhouse will present a full-length matinee reading of Who’s Afraid of Edward Albee?, produced by Robbie Wayne, along with a book signing of Who’s Afraid of Michael Kearns?. Kearns will read the role of Martha, along with a small cast, in the all-male twisted iteration of the classic, one of the three plays in his new anthology. He will also be on hand to sign his new book as well as his autobiography, The Truth Is Bad Enough: What Became of the Happy Hustler?. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Desert Rose Playhouse. The Playhouse is located 611 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Suite 15 Palm Springs, CA 92264. For more information, please visit https://desertroseplayhouse.org.


    Steven Leigh Morris’ Guest on Animal Farm

    In a recent Animal Farm interview with host Steven Leigh Morris (Founding Editor of Stage Raw and LA Weekly Theatre Editor), Kearns discusses his life and work on Episode 40. Tune into City Garage Theatre’s YouTube channel to catch the lively discussion.



    For more information, photos, to request a book, or to schedule an interview, please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Tejada at 213-840-1201 or lynn@greengalactic.com.

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